Meat and Poultry

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

Loreto March 16, 2019

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Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce. Winter is entering its last stages and the smell of Spring is in the air. I didn’t want to leave Winter without making the epitome of comfort and taste with a dish that screams gathering and feasting with authentic Italian rich flavors!

Song of the day: “Shine a light” by The Banners.

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce. A recipe that brings nothing but warm fuzzies and memories of being Italian during the Winter season. Imagine polenta (slow cooked cornmeal), a rich tomato sauce simmered for hours infused with the richness of good quality Italian sausage and some wonderful ribs, coming together on a wood board to be shared with the ones you love. I guarantee you will see your family smile, eating good wholesome food and your family sharing a meal that brings you closer together. After all, Italian culture is truly about family.

When thinking of what recipe to do for The Italian Centre Shop and thinking about the long hard winter we had, only one recipe came to mind, Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce



Winter of 1976…………..

Polenta, I would have to say, brings back wonderful memories. One in particular was the winter of 1976. Our family went to Boston to celebrate Christmas with family. My auntie Nina had a fireplace and cooking in a copper pot over the fire was polenta and on the stove, a rich tomato sauce stewing with meats and sausages.

I loved how everyone was hugging, talking, and all around this fireplace tending a wonderful pot of polenta. You could smell the sweet corn and together with the aroma of sugo (tomato sauce) had us all anxious to set down to a truly large family-style meal. My Boston Italian family does not do anything small, it is always a grande affair.

It was beautiful seeing family all around a large set table. You could not hear yourself think as discussions and talking hosting many different conversations saturated the room. However, the most beautiful thing, a large wood board  in the center of the table with a beautiful smooth layer of polenta (cornmeal) and on top the rich tomato sauce and of course those sausages and meat so moist and tender from that slow cooking in the sauce.

You can’t get a better Norman Rockwell moment like this. People sharing food, literally spooning polenta, tomato sauces, and  some of that luscious meat and eating with the biggest smiles and the warmest of hearts!

It has been a hard and long winter for us, however, we can say farewell to the cold and snow and dark days with a real wonderful heartwarming dish like this Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce!

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce


I know you have heard me say this probably a thousand times. I love going shopping at The Italian Centre Shop because it is not only about getting the grocery list taken care of, it is a total Italian shopping experience. Firstly from the music that is playing in the background to the aroma that fills the store and lastly the lovely European foods. For me, it feels like family, one that I have grown up with. If you are ever in Edmonton, or if you live here and never been there, check it out, maybe we will run into each other. We are there a fair bit.

Enough ranting now it’s time to get this dish done………..

After a nice visit to The Italian Centre Shop I am home with a bag full of wonderful things, let’s take a look:

  • Cornmeal (polenta)
  • D.O.P. canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Rack of organic humanely raised pork ribs
  • Italian mild sausages
  • Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
  • Fresh organic basil
  • Italian Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

What to start doing first!

You want to get that sauce going because it needs a few hours to simmer to get that rich flavor and make sure those ribs and sausages are cooked well and tender. So, to get it going, in goes some olive oil in a nice heavy cast pot. Toss in the sausages, ribs, and garlic and get a nice brown on them. As a result, heightened flavor resulting in a lip-smacking good sauce.

Next, in goes the tomatoes, hand crushing them as they go into the pot. Have to say wear an apron, this process can be messy but it is very important as it releases all those sweet juices and breaks up the tomato, hence, rich chunky sauce equaling a yummy, delicious outcome! The last thing, some fresh basil. Don’t you just love the smell of fresh basil? It always makes me close my eyes and smile!

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

This sauce smells amazing, I want to just get a slice of pagnotta bread and scoop some of that pulp and slather it on that slice finally biting in. Now that’s Italian! Mamma mia, buonissimo! Let’s finish this Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce!

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

Time to make Polenta!

It really is easy to make polenta. Firstly bring some salted water to boil. I always taste my water for seasoning, very important. Secondly, slowly sprinkle in the cornmeal and whisk continuously. If you don’t, the cornmeal will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn and that would mean burnt flavored polenta. As you continue to sprinkle and whisk, the polenta will start to thicken once it gets to the point where you see the mixture form lines when you stir through it. Time to lower that heat and finally cover. Let it cook for a time and what you will be left with is a thick smooth velvety sweet cornmeal. Remember to check on it to make sure it is not burning! Finish with a pat of butter and a stir.

Time to plate………

Nicoletta and I brought these beautiful wood plates back from Italy. It is going to be perfect for this dish. So on goes that wonderful polenta, a topping of the rich sauce and some sausages and those fall apart ribs. Let’s not forget the sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano!

My mouth is watering, this smells so good!

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

My spoon is ready!

I love the creaminess of the polenta, gotta try some. Mmmmmmmmm………… the cornmeal is sweet, nutty, and that sauce is like a blanket of yum and richness which brings in an acidic sweetness to the backdrop of the polenta. The sausage is beautiful, juicy, moist, tender, well seasoned, and love how the tomatoes have elevated the flavor. The ribs fall apart tender, moist, so so good. This Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce is hearty, luscious, and so heartwarming. Beautiful textures, rich Italian flavors, and a real table center conversational piece. Can’t get any better than that!

Sunday is around the corner……

It has been a long and hard winter, however, Spring is starting to come through. More daylight, warmer temperatures and that unforgettable smell of Spring with the birds singing and chirping in the trees and pond. Let’s give Winter a proper farewell, can’t say we will miss you, but we will miss this dish so let’s savor it.

Sunday’s coming, get that sauce stewing, the cornmeal steaming, and gather the family for a truly Italian delicious family feast!


Song of the day: “Shine a light” by The Banners.

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 people 1x
  • Category: Main, Meat
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian


Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce. This is definitely a family-style comfort mealBeautiful golden cooked cornmeal slathered in a rich tomato sauce and topped with Italian mild sausage and pork ribs all simmered nice and slow in tomatoes and sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano. Italian comfort food at its best and a dish you will see in the winter months among many Italian families!




  1. Polenta is best made in a copper pot, however, if you don’t have one use a heavy cast pot as I have used in this recipe.
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Polenta with Sausage and Rib in Tomato Sauce

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

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  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa March 18, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    What a truly mouthwatering dish! I love the addition of pork ribs with the sausage…definitely noteworthy and I’m so looking forward to trying this!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you Marisa. You are so right about the addition of the ribs and sausage stewed nicely in the tomato sauce. It made that sauce so deep in richness and flavor, perfect for the polenta. A hug with all the fixings it was! Oh I thought I would mention how tender and succulent the ribs and sausage were. My mouth is still watering thinking about it!
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Leanne | Crumb Top Baking March 20, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I love this time of year. Winter is still hanging on but the promise of spring is so exciting. While I love the extra daylight, we tend to have colder springs on the east coast, so I’m all about the cozy comfort food for a while longer yet. And this one is the perfect amount of comfort!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 20, 2019 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you Leanne, I know exactly what you mean about winter holding on with its last grasp and slim shimmering’s of spring leaking through. You are so right about the comfort level of this dish. It is several flurries of hugs with a last feeling of a warm blanket wrapping itself around you! Thank you, I loved your comment, well done!
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Chef Sous Chef March 21, 2019 at 7:51 am

    This recipe transports me to my childhood. My stepmom made polenta with sausage and peas often, but to be honest, I never cared for the peas. I think I’ll be making this version on the weekend. Thanks for sharing and invoking those memories 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 24, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      You are so welcome, I love how food does this. This recipe is truly rich and so so delicious and comforting! Let us know how you made out, would love to hear!

  • Avatar
    Reply marilyn @family food around the clock March 22, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I remember my grandmother using cornmeal… wow, that was a long time ago! I for sure am going to use cornmeal in one of my recipe. So inspiring 🙂 Thank you. I pinned it for later!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 24, 2019 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you Marilyn, I love how food stirs these great memories and feelings. The best part is the bonus, deliciously tasting food! Can’t wait for you to try this one, truly comforting!

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